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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    St. Joseph, MO
    Posts
    10

    Default Brood in my honey supers

    Im a new bee keeper last year I bought a package and then caught a swarm to start my second hive. So I have two hives. The package hive has been very strong all year with lots of bees. The last time I was in it I had a super of brood with a queen excluder a full super of honey above that and a mostly full deep super on top. So I added a 4th deep super under the mostly full of honey one.

    I havent been in the hive much when I did the last time probably 3 weeks ago I was getting stung a lot on the upper arms as I dont have a proper suit. So yesterday I checked my hive and I have brood in the top super that was mostly full of honey. The extra super below that that I added last time has been partly filled in and also has brood in it. The bottom box that was brood is being filled with honey now. Im guessing that I allowed the queen to get above the excluder.

    How do I fix this and will I be able to harvest honey still?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Brood in my honey supers

    First, you'll need to find the queen. After you find her, place her below the excluder and then let the brood in the supers hatch out.

    If you don't have time to rummage through 3 boxes to find one bee, then just throw an excluder between all the boxes and come back in a week or so. The box with eggs will also have the queen in it.
    Try it. What could happen?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Brood in my honey supers

    Psyop, It sounds like you only gave them one box as their brood chamber before placing the queen excluder on. They really should have more than one box: 2 if you're using deeps, 3 if you're using medium supers. Find the queen as per JStinson's reply, then when you reassemble the hive, let them keep 2 boxes as their brood area.
    Good luck, it sounds like the hive is a strong one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Brood in my honey supers

    Quote Originally Posted by JStinson View Post
    If you don't have time to rummage through 3 boxes to find one bee, then just throw an excluder between all the boxes and come back in a week or so. The box with eggs will also have the queen in it.
    A heavy smoking of the super will work as well. If you really smoke it up, the queen will almost always move down to get away from it. So take the excluder off, smoke the daylights out of the super with the brood, wait a minute for her to move, then put the excluder back on. She *should* be in the lower box after that. Not 100% guaranteed, but its safer than trying to find her and physically move her yourself.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Brood in my honey supers

    I don't recommend going this route. A heavy smoking can do harm to your bees. If you were in a room that was heavily smoked, how long would you last? Smoking is used to calm your bees, not stir them into a panic. If you feel comfortable with a full inspection of the hive, locate the queen and move the frame that she is on below the excluder....even if it is a medium frame and moving to a deep box. You can come back in a couple of days and retrieve the medium frame. This way you don't have to touch the queen and risk harming her. Replace the excluder above and then let the brood in your honey supers hatch out. The bees will then clean out the comb and fill it with honey/pollen.

    As far as harvesting honey...you will have to wait until all of the eggs and larvae are gone, which pretty much means no honey from these frames this year. If the eggs were just laid, it will be approx 3 weeks before they are out of the comb....another couple of days for the bees to clean and repair the cells, and then to start filling with nectar. The time is not there for your location. Just learn from your mistake for next year.

    If you are a newbee and just set up your hives this year, you shouldn't be planning on ANY honey from these hives this year anyway. Lesson one in beekeeping is that the bees get all of the honey the first year. They have to survive the winter.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 08-20-2013 at 05:58 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Brood in my honey supers

    Not correct on several levels.. first we have plewnty of time for the brood to hatch and be gone... second... not takeing honey the first year depends very much on the hive, and your goals. no reason you can't get some. decide what you want to leave for winter. Good hives can make surplus the first year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    St. Joseph, MO
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Brood in my honey supers

    Thanks for all the advice. While I am new to bees this is my second year. I successfully made it through last winter with both hives. I was only using one deep super for brood. I will change that to two.

    So here is what Im thinking I will do. Please correct if any of it sounds wrong. I will take the hive back apart and try to locate the queen. I miss her much more often than I find her so that may be a challenge for me. If I dont find her I will put the two boxes with most of the brood, those were the top two on the bottom and then use the excluder. This will put the old brood chamber on top, but its mostly honey now. Will that be ok to harvest the wax is much darker? It does not have brood in it at this point. As far as the bees having enough honey for them at this point in that hive I have most of 3 deep supers that have lots of honey in them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,900

    Default Re: Brood in my honey supers

    MaydayMalone, smoking your bees heavily is not going to harm them, many people use that method of driving the queen down, myself included, and it works very well without having to actually find the queen. I smoke each super heavily starting with the top one, remove it, then smoke the next heavily, etc. until you get down to the brood nest, then put the excluder on and restack everything back up. I always check in about a week to make sure that the queen got below the excluder by looking for new brood in the supers quickly. Heavy smoking the supers does not cause smokey tasting honey either imo, at least mine never tasted that way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Brood in my honey supers

    Good plan.. I would also put those frames on the very outside, less chance of her useing them again if you miss her.
    Also might note that to find her, look on the brood frames first. She is most likely to be in the middle of her brood area. Cuts down on searching at times.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,338

    Default Re: Brood in my honey supers

    If I did that some of my hives would be over wintering with 2 deep brood boxes and 5 dadant honey supers. I have not touched the brood boxes but have taken off some full honey supers. I have not extracted them yet as some hives may need extra honey.
    I did see a videp where the fellow extracted the honey supers and poured honey into a tray for his light hives.

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